|All photos by Bjørnar Bolsøy do not use without his permission. The photos are of the airplane that crashed during exercise "Cold Response 2012"
Latest news:Hopefully we'll find the aircrew alive and well but "even training is dangerous"...
* Pieces of possible wreckage has been found on both sides of the South Peak of the Kebnekaise mountain range
(Google Earth coordinates approx: 67°54'4.92"N 18°31'26.22"E)
* Metal pieces were found close to the peak's summit of about 6900 feet as well as part of a "seat with velcro soaked in paraffine"
* The area is now officially a crash site
* Ski hikers in the aera report hearing large bangs which they assumed were avalanches
* Last two radar contacts were a few miles west of the peak: a civilian radar contact at 7200 feet and shortly after that a military radar contact at 7600 feet
* Yesterday's report of emergency radio transmission picked up by a Danish Merlin helicopter has not been confirmed
* Weather is still very challenging with storms, strong turbulence and limited visiblity, very steep terrain and avalanche danger(panorama picture of the mountain range: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Kebnekaise_Panorama.jpg)* It is believed that there were hurricane winds in the area at the time of the accident
* SAR helicopters have been forced to abort numerous times due to the bad weather
* Forecast however looks better for the comming night and tomorrow
* The ship lost has been confirmed as #5630 named "Siv" of 335. Sqn. at Gardermoen AB. It entered operational service mid-2010
* About 20 helicopters and aircraft as well as large ground forces are participating in the search
* Helis include RNOAF Sea Kings and RNOAF Bell 412SPs, Swedish HKP-10s (Eurocopter AS332), Lifeguard 906 (Sikorsky S-76++), EC135 police helicopter as well as two Danish Merlins
* Fixed winged aircraft include RNOAF P-3s and F-16s, NATO AWACS, US MC-130 and E-2C Hawkeye
So far the accident is a mystery. The crew was highly experienced, the C-130J considered a modern and robust airplane and has advanced support systems like terrain avoidence radar. Although challenging, the conditions were not deemed too difficult for flight operations. Earlier, two aircrafts had passed through the same area without incidence. Amongst the speculations are course deviations and a solar flare yesterday causing magnetic storms. However according to scientist Knut Stanley Jacobsen at the Norwegian cartographical service the flare hit the Earth some time after the accident and still wouldn't be strong enough to cause problems with aircraft systems.On a personal note I flew with that very same aircraft on the official inauguration flight of the RNOAF C-130J fleet in August 2010. Photos attached. Note that airborne C-130J is #5607 "Idunn". It was quite difficult to get good shots bacause the chasing C-130s were directly behind the jet exhaust of our ship "Siv".
The thought of flying in hurricane force winds is bad. Doing it during wintery conditions is brave beyond words.
So much for the European's being soft huh? Best wishes and luck to the missing aircrew and the searchers.
When I get updates so will you.